Field Mapping in Saint-Marc, Haiti
In August 2011, HOT was contacted by HRI (Haiti Recovery Initiative - Levekanpe in Haitian Creole) , a USAID/OTI (Office of Transition Initiatives ) and Chemonics program promoting recovery, long-term development and local capacity building in Haiti following the 2010 earthquake, especially in various Development Corridors identified throughout the country.
HRI was interested in partnering with HOT around a pilot project which would improve the baseline data in the territory of the Commune of Saint-Marc and create mapping capacities within the Saint-Marc Development Corridor (SMDC): a group of mappers agile in using the techniques, technologies, and training approaches of the OpenStreetMap (OSM) project.
This was facilitated through the initial ground work laid out by COSMHA, the territorial ties that HRI has developed in the area, and the young mappers representing the various communities from Saint-Marc’s six section communales. Consultation, outreach, awareness, and map releases would be organized.
Started in February 2012 for three months, the program built the group of 30 youth mappers as well as many actors from the SMDC and collected and updated the baseline data required to assist in Saint-Marc‘s economic expansion, utilising the techniques, technologies, and training concepts of the OpenStreetMap (OSM) project. The program features software development work first to allow for facilitated access to the OSM data in various standard interoperable formats (shapefile, KML, SpatiaLite) through a dedicated download website, and, second, to allow for the an enhanced visualization of the data mapped during the project. This tool-set is suitable for providing spatial analysis, raw data and map products. Actors within the Saint-Marc Development Corridor are able to make decisions and obtain greater understanding through the facilitation of the provided tools. The HOT/COSMHA team supervised a group of 30 young people throughout the program who were trained to create a complete map of the commune.
The OSM Community in Saint-Marc, thanks to the capacity building approach, will ultimately be autonomous and therefore will have the ability to handle the techniques, documents, tools, processes and collective plans necessary to continue the surveying and mapping activities carried out during the program as well as starting new ones in the SMDC, the department of Artibonite or other locations of the Haitian territory.
This pilot is considered as a success by USAID, and the organization is currently discussing its replication in other communes of Haiti as well as in other countries. Other organizations based in Saint-Marc such as ACTED and MercyCorps have been benefitting and working with young OSM mappers and are discussing scaling up programs in disaster preparedness and development based activities.
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